Delhi's power demand clocks season's highest on May 24 due to heat wave; relief likely after May 30

Comparing the peak power demand of April 2020 with that of May 2020, Delhi’s peak power demand increased by over 56%. 

Delhi's power demand clocks season's highest on May 24 due to heat wave; relief likely after May 30

New Delhi: The National capital on the night of May 24, 2020, saw a peak power demand that clocked over 5268 MW, the season’s highest so far. It was also marginally more than the peak power demand (5094 MW) recorded on May 24, 2019. 

The surge in power demand was mostly because of the heat waves in north India. Hot and dry weather continued to prevail in the national capital on Monday (May 25) with the maximum temperature hovering close to 45 degrees Celsius in most parts of the city.

The Safdarjung Observatory, which provides representative figures for the city, recorded a high of 44.4 degrees Celsius, which was four notches above the normal. The weather stations at Lodhi Road and Ayanagar recorded their respective maximums at 44 degrees Celsius and 45.6 degrees Celsius, 5 notches above the normal. Palam recorded 46.2 degrees Celsius, which was the season's highest this year.

Earlier on May 24, the IMD had issued a 'red alert', used for a severe heatwave, for parts of Delhi for the next two days. "Heatwave will prevail in many places and severe heatwave in isolated places. Mainly clear sky with strong surface winds (20-20 kilometres per hour)," the IMD forecast said

BRPL and BYPL successfully met the peak power demand of 2448 MW and 1227 MW respectively. In 2019, Delhi’s peak power demand had clocked 7409 MW. In BRPL’s area, it was 3211 MW and 1686 MW.

Comparing the peak power demand of April 2020 with that of May 2020, Delhi’s peak power demand increased by over 56%. 

Peak power demand in April was 3362 MW compared to 5268 MW on May 24.

BSES in its official statement on May 25 said that the accurate demand (load) forecasting is critical for reliable power supply. It is done on various parameters like (i) Day-ahead in 96 time-slots, (ii) Intra-day basis and (iii) Medium term (from a fortnight to one year). 

Among other aspects, weather parameters like temperature, rainfall, cloud coverage, wind speed, wind direction and humidity play an important role in accurate demand forecast. Even holidays and random disturbances have an impact on the power demand.

They added, "To meet today’s power challenges and to get a grip on so many varied and dynamic variables, BSES uses a mix of advanced statistical forecasting models, combined with state-of-the-art weather forecasting solutions, including Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning."

BSES said that ensuring reliable supply in any season is as much the function of proper power arrangements as also accurate demand forecast and robust distribution network. On all these aspects, BSES discoms are fully geared to ensure adequate power availability during the winter months.

They also said, "Arrangements have been firmed up by BSES discoms to source adequate electricity to meet the power demand of over 44 lakhs consumers. These arrangements include long term PPAs and banking arrangements with other states. In case of unforeseen contingencies because of low generation and outages in power plants, the discoms will purchase short-term power from the exchange."

BSES stated that they are closely watching the evolving COVID-19 situation in the National capital and taking all appropriate measures to ensure reliable power supply to our consumers without compromising the safety of our employees.

The IMD has predicted dust and thunderstorms over several parts of north India on May 29-30. Kuldeep Srivastava, head of the Regional Meteorological Department of the IMD, told PTI that due to a western disturbance and easterly winds, dust storm and thunderstorm activity are likely over Delhi, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh on May 29-30.